When it comes to maintaining proper hydration levels in your body, nothing achieves this goal better than pure, clean water. At various stages of life and circumstances, this life-giving liquid constitutes 60 to 75 percent of the human body. There is no way to deny that we need water in order to function properly. A person can live without water for about two days before succumbing to acute dehydration and death. Although that takes extreme circumstances, our day to day life is filled with enough physical activity and stress so that appropriate levels of water intake are essential to maximum health and well-being.
How Much Water Do We Need to Stay Hydrated?
Although there are many discussions about the exact volume of water necessary to maintain optimum health, the generally accepted idea is to get a minimum of eight cups or almost 2 liters of water each day.
When you look at hydration from another perspective, we should replace all the water we lose in a day due to normal metabolic processes, urination and elimination, sweating, and for any other reason. This amount varies widely. An athlete taking a jog in Arizona will lose a lot more water than a sedentary person sitting in a climate controlled office in Seattle. Even the two people of similar physiological ability in the same place during the same activity will lose different amounts of water.
Where Can You Get Enough Water?
Carrying around a water bottle all day or having a couple at your desk is always a great idea. However, if you'd rather not guzzle down water, you can get your fluid from other sources. Juices and even coffee and tea count toward your daily requirement. While sodas or soft drinks are made with water and to help rehydrate you, they also include a lot of sugar and other chemicals that can make the water difficult to process.
Some food has plenty of water as well. Fruits and vegetables are often very high in moisture, but things like soups and sauces can also help. This does not mean you can replace a couple of water with a cup of ketchup and call yourself well hydrated. Everything included with the pure water needs to be metabolized out before it can be used for your bodily functions.
What Happens If You Do Not Stay Hydrated?
As mentioned above, if you do not drink water or other water-containing foods or beverages for two days you may die of dehydration. People not in life-threatening situations can also suffer the effects of dehydration in a milder, but still dangerous way.
Consider first that every single process in your body requires water to function. If you do not have enough, things begin to malfunction. The initial symptoms include lack of urination, lack of sweat in the heat, dry mouth, and feeling very thirsty. If you do not take a drink soon, you may develop headaches, dizziness, and even mental confusion and loss of cognitive function. Long-term dehydration can affect your organs and body systems.
In order to avoid these problems, maintain ideal health, and feel and look your best, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated.